We've long known that sugar is basically dietary kryptonite—aside from being immensely addictive, it's also tied closely with belly fat, a warped metabolism, and snowballing cravings, among other things. But now, a groundbreaking study confirms what scientists already suspected to be true: that it's basically poisonous for the body.
While studying a group of children who were instructed to replace sugary foods in their diets with starches instead, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco realised that several aspects of the participants' well-being improved. After nine days of reducing their daily sugar intake to 10% of their daily calories (the total number of calories consumed stayed the same), the children weighed the same, but precursory symptoms of diabetes disappeared, as did other health issues associated with sugar intake, including fat in the liver and raised insulin levels. All in just a little more than a week.
It's worth noting that many of the children were overweight or obese to begin with, as well as the fact that the low-sugar diets they were put on were not particularly healthy. But the researchers felt that this alone proves just how much sugar in itself can have an impact on the body—beyond just keeping your waistline in check.
The takeaway is to avoid sugar as much as possible, if you aren't already—even natural sweeteners like honey aren't so great in excess, according to other research. Your best bet if you have a sweet tooth is to stick with something like stevia, which is low glycemic and calorie free.
What's your favourite way to get your sweet fix in a healthy way? Tell us in the comments below!
Opening Image: Emre Guven